Tamaroa

The History Of Tamaroa – as told by Eric Stevens

“I am writing this as the owner of Tamaroa from early 1994 to the middle of 2010. She was in a sad state when I bought her and it was only the quality of the original hull construction which warranted her restoration.

Tamaroa was built by Collings and Bell Ltd for A.E. Fisher of Whangarei. at a date which I have not been able to confirm. At the time of sale I was told that she was the last boat made by Collings and Bell. “They sent her down the slip and closed their doors after her”.  When I tried to confirm this story I found that there were quite a number of ‘last boats built by Collings and Bell’ And whatever Tamaroa might be, she was not that. I have been told she was built in 1953 but my enquiries suggested she may have been built in the late 1940s. She certainly was built at a time when Kauri was short and all the larger timbers in the cabin sole above the engines and the cabin sole planking in the stern cabin were Southland Beech. So too were many of the finishing timbers.

In the time I owned her I measured her up and made extensive CAD drawings to aid with her reconstruction. These show her as being 12.8 meters (42′) between perpendiculars and 3.3 meters (11′-10″) beam. By the time one took into account the strongman for the anchor and the boarding platform at the stern she was in modern NZMIA parlance 13.77 meters (45′) over all. Further, substantial strakes had been added to increase the width of the decks and these brought her overall beam up to a little over 4 metres (13′-1″).

When she was built she was fitted with what was reported to be a large Austin diesel engine. Irrespective of what the exact date of build might be, as far as I can tell, Austin were not at that period making diesel engines suitable for a boat of that size but they were using Perkins P6 engines. Also Perkins were supplying engine exchange kits to enable the fitting of the P6 engine to Austin trucks. The Perkins P6 was commonly used in larger boats at that time and it is most likely that this is what was actually used. Alternatively it could have been the almost contemporaneous and slightly more powerful S6.

At some stage Tamaroa was sold to a Mr Jeeves. Mr Jeeves was allergic to diesel fumes and had the original engine removed and two Scripps engines (marine conversion of the old flat head Ford V8) installed. This entailed fitting new shaft, tubes and logs to the hull. The engines were fitted with identical Borg Warner gear boxes with the results that both shafts turned in the same direction.

Tamaroa then passed through various hands until an Allan Brown bought her from a truck sales man whose name he can no longer recall. Allan Browne did not like the petrol engines and he started to convert Tamaroa back to the original diesel by replacing the port engine with a Nissan SD33 diesel engine. The Nissans come in a variety of configurations and this one was configured for industrial use in a forklift truck. For a time he ran Tamaroa with one engine diesel and the other petrol but not long before he sold it to me in 1998 he installed a second industrial SD33 identical to the first except that it had a slightly different flywheel housing.

When I bought her the interior was in a rather sad stripped-out and crudely rehashed state. However I had her surveyed by Jack Taylor and he gave a good report on the condition of her hull. The strength of the construction of the hull impressed him and was such that he took a lot of convincing that it was not a prewar boat. The cabin was a different matter: he kept repeating that they had left it to the apprentices. When I later got to replacing the glass in the cabin I found that the port side bore only a passing resemblance to the starboard with various nominally equal dimensions varying by several inches from one side of the cabin to another.

By the time I bought her most of the original furniture had gone and been replaced by a mish-mash of all kinds of strange things. There was a large armchair in one corner of the wheelhouse which in fact was a refrigeration cabinet. And when it rained the cabin leaked like a sieve.

I started the long process of fitting her out. When I removed what was not wanted I was left with a large empty space with a flush dunny on one side.  The engine changes over her life had caused the structural beams for the deck in the wheel house to be badly chopped around and I decided to replace the whole structure. This included the cabin sole in the wheelhouse. There was so little of the original left that I decided to refit the interior from scratch with a clean sheet of paper. It’s not original but it incorporate most mod cons and it works.

The aft cabin sole was planked and screwed down with immovable bronze screws. We had not been able to lift this for the survey. After I had bought her, all had to be laboriously cut out to give access to the hull. The completion of this work revealed a dreadful state of affairs. When the new shafts were installed for the twin screws. no sealant (tallow, pitch) had been run to fill the gap between the shaft tubes and the logs. The result was that over the years sea water had been seeping in past the stern bearing housing and evaporating through the timber of the adjacent planking and the shaft logs. The concentration of salt had given the timber the consistency of Weetbix and in places the sound planking was only 3mm thick. Nevertheless, as we had found at the time of survey, what remained was so hard that attacking it with large knife from the outside revealed no weakness. In the end more than 4 square meters of the bottom had to be replaced. This entailed new shaft logs, GRP tubes and shafts. Needless to say all this was sealed with copious quantities of epoxy resin.

The original central rudder had been retained when the two Scripps engines were fitted. At the same time two wing rudders were installed in the propellor streams in order to give better low speed steering. The rudder shafts and glands were in a sad state and the only reason they had not sunk Tamaroa at her moorings was that the glands were about 5cm above water. The general design and condition of all this was such that I decided to remove the original rudder and fit two new rudders to suit the new installation. Propellor calculations had suggested the original propellers were too small and spinning rather too fast for the Nissan engines. After much searching I decided to replace the original gear boxes with a pair of ZF which gave me a deeper reduction and allowed the use of larger propellers.

The evidence of the transom was that when Tamaroa had been first built the exhaust discharged through the transom on the port side. There was also evidence of a smaller exhaust along side the main exhaust suggesting she may have been fitted with a small auxiliary ‘popper’ engine of some kind. The original exhaust system was discarded when the two Scripps engines were installed. Instead each engine was equipped with its own ‘North Sea’ exhaust which discharged on both sides of the vessel at the water line. These employed large thin-walled bronze tubes fitted into the hull. I did not like these as they were old, had screw threads for securing nuts cut into them and most importantly, they had no seacocks.

I removed these and blocked one of the two holes on each side. Too the remaining hole I fitted a large bronze skin fitting with a gate valve for use as a sea cock. The two Nissans had been fitted with wet exhausts, the risers for which were just underneath the cabin sole which had become charred by radiated heat. Accordingly I had made for each engine a water cooled riser which discharged into a large rubber silencer.

The Scripps installation had required two additional outboard engine bearers which I thought were rather short. I had these extended to pick up the major framing bulkheads ahead and aft of the engines. The original water tanks were four, by now, battered 30 gallon hot water cylinders mounted in cradles underneath the wheelhouse. I found drinking warm, slightly green, tainted water to be unpalatable so I replaced these with stainless steel tanks to each side of the aft cabin. At the same time I had two aluminium 520 litre fuel tanks constructed which sat in the engine space on top of the forward end of the engine bearers.

Before Allan Brown had bought Tamaroa an attempt had been made to install an external steering and control station on top of the aft cabin. This used cable steering and holes were bored through whatever part of the vessel got in the way of the cable’s passage. Allan Brown had replaced this with hydraulic steering with a rather crude linkage at the rudders. A windscreen and dodger had also been fitted. I totally rebuilt all of this during the refit. I also installed dual Simrad navigation, radar and plotter control stations.

The refrigerated armchair was replaced with an electrically powered refrigerator and freezer. There was only one working alternator between the two engines and this was charging a very large lead-acid battery which tests showed was down to about 12% of its original storage capacity. With the increased electrical load had to totally rebuild the electrical system. I installed separate engine and house batteries charged by two alternators, one of which was of high capacity for the house battery, and installed two large solar panels on the roof of the cabin.

The galley was relocated from forward to the aft cabin. Two LPG cylinders were installed in a properly ventilated locker in the transom. A gas hot water heater was fitted to the aft cabin bulkhead and used to supply pressurised hot water to both the galley and toilet/shower area which now resides forward in the place where the galley had been.

Apart from up in the bows, all of the furniture is new. It was all designed to be held in place by screws so that it could be removed without any cutting and hacking. I had most of this work done by freelance boat builders.

The electrical side of the refit is a story on its own. There are literally kilometers of wiring throughout the hull and concealing this was a major task. I probably spent as much time on this as I did on everything else combined. Be warned, if you want mod cons in an old boat, there is a downside”.

Most of the photographs above of Tamaroa show her as she was when Eric sold her.

Marline Gets A Top Chop

MARLINE – Gets A Top Chop


Back in September 2019 I spotted the launch – Marline coming up Milford Creek on-route to The Slipway yard. As it turns out she was being hauled for a heart transplant – a wonderful new Yanmar 120hp was being installed. The top two photos above show here in the ‘creek’. At the time I thought – very nice woody, but ……….. pity about the low rise block of flats on top.

So you can image how pleased I was last Thursday to walk in to The Slipway shed and see a team in the process of demolishing the flats. Marline was built in 1950 by Leon Warne in St. Marys Bay, for his own use. Son Ken gave me a guided tour of the boat and detailed the work in-hand. And she will be returning to a more traditional configuration 🙂 Marline is approx 35’ x 11’ 4’ and draws 3’6”. She had a reputation as ’the party boat’ and once aboard its easy to see way – an 11’+ beam on a 35’ boat makes for a lot of living space.I love the original cabin lights – Leon Warne cast them, son Ken still has the mould……….. now that has got me thinking 😉


The gallery of photos below, ex Ken, give us a peek into her past, as you will see, she was successfully used for Game Fishing for many years, out of Tauranga

Around The Yards – The Slipway Milford

L>R Marline, Connie V
Disturber
L>R Lucinda, Disturber

Around The Yards – The Slipway Milford


I was passing thru Milford last week, so took the opportunity to drop in on the team at The Slipway (Geoff Bagnall’s yard in a previous life).I can report that I was pleasantly pleased to see so many woodys hauled out and in various stages of repair – from the annual bum clean right thru to major refits.The one that caught my eye the most was the 35’ Leone Warne built launch – Marline, more on her on Monday, I now have so many cool photos from her past.
The woodys below are at the yard, where possible I have included a WW link to see / read more on each one.


The Slipway yard is one of Auckland’s very few ‘railway’ hail out facilities and both deserves and needs the support of the wooden boating community. If we lose yards like this we will be forced to use yards that tend to have equipment designed for big while plastic boats and that are not wooden boat friendly in terms of planked boats. So woodys support the guys that support us. Contact Jason Prew for details on haul out rates and on-site services. jason@slipway.co.nz

Connie V – https://waitematawoodys.com/2019/12/23/connie-v-saved/
Lucinda – https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/30/lucinda-4sale/
Disturber – https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/19/disturber/
Marline – https://waitematawoodys.com/2013/04/16/marline/
Lonestar – a visitor from Hawkes Bay 😉 more on this project later.
Gweneviere – another visitor from Hawkes Bay and possibly a project.

Huia

HUIA


Recently WW was contacted by Simon Truebridge the current custodian (Simon’s word) of the 48’ wooden ketch-rigged motor sailer – Huia. Huia was built / launched c.1951>1953 and was the first vessel built by the founders of Gough Engineering in Invercargill. Huia is planked with Australian tallow wood and apparently Joe Gough was friendly with the workers who had worked at the Prices’s Inlet Norwegian whale boat maintenance facility on Stewart Island, hence Huia’s strong Scandinavian influence. Powered by a Gardner 6lw that is rumoured to be perhaps 25 years older than the boat, the thinking is that it started life on standby genset duty in the basement of the British Admiralty Headquarters. The rumour goes on to say that two of these engines, along with transmissions, a hydraulic windlass that sounds remarkably similar to Huia’s, & various other equipment mysteriously arrived in Invercargill soon after the end of World War II, fortuitously just as Huia was taking shape….. 

Simon believes he is her 5th keeper, the Goughs having kept her in Bluff until 1972. The boat still raises great interest whenever she returns to Bluff.

Any woodys able to tell us more about Huia’s past?


Almost Had To Excommunicated My Daughter

Currently holidaying at Lake Como in Italy, they hired a runabout for the day, now you would think the woody DNA would kick in, but nope – they hire a plastic boat 😦 She saved herself by sporting a WW shirt 🙂

The white villa in the background is George Clooney’s – I’m told that sadly he wasn’t home 🙂
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Aotea

C.1981 Far North
c.1981 Far North

AOTEA – Sailing Sunday 
The owner of the H28 Aotea, Peter Sporle, contacted WW recently seeking help uncovering information on her early history.What we know is that Aotea was built in 1954 in Mangonui Harbour, Northland, from kauri carvel planks. She has an iron keel and was originally ketch rigged.


In 1958 Aotea won the Balokovic Cup for her owner Brian O’Donaghue. Below is an article that BO’D wrote on H28’s and Aotea for the August 1962 issue of Sea Spray magazine.She was owned by Sir Keith Park. And a gentleman named Ian Miller owned for 7 years from approx. 1973>1980. Peter S bought her in Sept 1980 and still owns her – since 1990, she has been based at Tryphena, Great Barrier Island. Aotea was relaunched in October 2018 after a refit on the island.
Above also is a short video of Aotea afloat, post re-launching, looking very smart.

02-09-2020 Input From Robin Elliott –

Aotea has had the following Registered owners – as far as i know:
As D-11, ketch rigged.
B.C. Watson (Mangonui) 1953+?; B. O’Donohue (Whangarei) 1954?/61; Sir Keith Park 1961+?; T. O’Brien 1967+?
The date for B.C. Watson is the date he registered her, not necessarily the date she was launched.

In 1967 she appears to have been converted to single mast as she is re-registered in the E-Class as E-263.
T. O’Brien 1967/69+?; P.J. Cole (Matakana) 1970+? A. Wood 1971+? (Still Registered as Owner NZYF 1978); I.H. Miller 1976+?
You will note the overlap there. The registration lists are notorious for duff information and should always be viewed with caution; e.g. A. Wood appearing in 1971 and still shows as the registered owner in 1977/78 at the same time that Aotea is registered to I H. Miller with RAYC 1976/77 season where we know she did a lot of J.O.G. racing

In 1969 she took NZYF number 663

Trophies are:
RAYC: Balokovic Cup 1958
Onerahi YC: 100 miler 1960
Whangarei CC: Harbour Regatta Assn Auxilliary Cup 1960

SLOW LOADING OF WW SITE – IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING VERY SLOW LOADING OF THE WW HOME PAGE – I APOLOGISE – ISSUE NOW FIXED. Thank you to Geoff Bagnall for alerting me to the issue 🙂

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Quest

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QUEST
Earlier in the week, we featured the ex work-boat Quest II, this prompted John Gander to send in the above photos of the 33’ Quest, built by Roger Carey in 1959, her beam is 9’9” and she draws 4’6”. 
Roger built Quest to be his families boat, but later sold her to a Southland farmer who then in 1964 sold her into commercial fishing. John understands that Quest fished the waters about Stewart Island. In the 1970’s > 1980’s period she also fished the waters off Southland.
 
Sometime in early 2000 she returned to Picton, where John took the photo’s of her in the marina at Waikawa in 2008. John commented that she looked to be well kept and in a tidy condition, her engine a 5LW Gardner. She was then lifted from the water onto the hardstand and as the photo taken in 2013 shows she has deteriorated with her hardwood planking drying out with considerable shrinkage. 
 
John remarked that doesn’t like to look at Quest now that she is in such a sad state, having been fitted with a tight fitting cover and John fears that with lack of ventilation her condition will deteriorate further.
(special thanks to Dean Wright for facilitating getting the story to WW)
 

Classic Wooden Boat Cruise – 72 photos

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S/S Romany

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Arohanui

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Trinidad

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Matira

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Ann Michelle

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Raindance CCC trip Aug2020

Raindance

CLASSIC WOODEN BOAT WEEKEND CRUISE TO CLEVEDON  – 72 Photos 

Lets be honest, a large chunk of 2020 has been very average – locked marina’s, no on-the-water boating and cancelled events. After spending the weekend on-board Raindance, cruising up the Clevedon river and over-nighting with 12 other woody boats at the Clevedon Cruising Club, I realised what I had missed the most was the sense of fraternity that comes with being in a space shared with people who love the same things as I do – woody boats. 
 
The trip up the Wairoa River revolves around a tide window, so it was a very early start for some of us, helped by coffee on-route, the smart ones left on Friday and were enjoying breakfast in a bay as we were sliding down the Tamaki Strait. We were meet at the river entrance by CCC member Barrie Abel who ‘piloted’ us up the river – no opps, so thank you Barrie.
 
Awaiting for us at the CCC wharf was Russell Ward with his steam boat – Romany. The gent deserves a medal – all day Saturday and Sunday morning he was taking the CCC members and families + the woodys for rides. Romany is coal fired and as Russell tells everyone getting aboard – “if its metal – its hot, if its varnished – its dirty 🙂 . I’m a big fan of Romany, but the star was Cooper the English springer spaniel – I could have taken him home.
 
After some wonderful ‘air-traffic control’ we managed to get everyone either alongside the wharf or rafted to another boat that was alongside – soft bumper fenders along the entire wharf makes for very civilized berthing. However – no names, but one woody had to leave the Saturday night BBQ to check that their diesel fired on-board central heating outlet wasn’t roasting the fenders 😉
 
The day was very leisurely with most people enjoying a dockside lunch and CCC members dropping down to view the boats and people having steam boat rides. One woody took the opportunity to buy some fuel from the club’s dockside bowser, seems he forgot to check the level before departing, staring to become a habit……….
In addition to the activities afloat we were treated to some eye-candy in the car park – a stunning 1947 Ford Coupe and a replica 1945 Fairliner Torpedo speed boat.
 
Come 4pm we invaded the CCC club house for the main event – as always amazing hospitality from the club and to use that old saying “a good time was had by all”. It was announced that our visit will be a compulsory event on the club’s annual calendar – so woodys – no excuses for missing out next year. Date to be advised.
 
Check out the outdoor heater – a piece of kiwiana and it worked a treat.
 
Overnight it was a tad nippy, with several re-filling the boat water bottles in the early hours of the morning. But we woke to a stunning day and departed at 10am for the trip home.
 
And the Clevedon Coast Oysters were divine – photo below was my lunch – another set were dispatched as a appetizer – 8.5/10 – not Bluff but on the day as good 🙂
Special note of thanks to David Cook (Trinidad) who is my sidekick pulling these events together 🙂
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Tides Out 🙂  (photo ex Alan Good)

CCC tide out

Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday

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Southern Woodys – Work Boat Wednesday
 

Iain Forsyth, owner of the 1961, 42’6″’, Miller & Tunnage built ex work boat – Meola, has recently returned from a trip to the other island. Ian commented that he stopped off at Carey’s Bay and saw Pakeha (recently featured on WW) on the slips after a large refit by Carey’s Marine and ready to launch.


Iain snapped the above gallery of workboats. It was opportune timing as the Bluff fleet were in port and getting ready for the season. Now I’m sure they aren’t all woodys but as per the NZ Classic Yacht Association rules (see below) metal is all good 🙂 
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Magic

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PRE – RESTORATION

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THE RESTORATION

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JOB DONE

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MAGIC

Recently I was contacted by Phil Shaw who has completed an amazing restoration on his Healey speed boat – Magic. Like many I’m sure, I was not aware that the founder of the Austin Healy sports car marque – Donald Healey (British racing car driver and engineering guru), back in 1956 had also founded a subsidiary company – Healey Marine. The company produced approximately 1750 craft, with Phil’s 1956, 14’6″ boat, a Healey Ski-master, being the first model built.
When Phil acquired the boat she was crying out for a restoration and as you can see in the photos above, that she received 🙂
 
These days Magic is pushed along by a 50hp outboard that sees her with a top speed of 30 knots, and that woodys is very fast for a sub 15’ mahogany run-about.
 
My biggest challenge with this story was deciding which photos made the cut – Phil photo documented every step of the project, and has a wonderful photo gallery of the restoration.
 
I will let the photos tell the story. Below is a an article in the April 2002 issue of the Healey Marque Magazine.

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Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy

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Woody Lake Taupo Boat Tour + Woody Event Details

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WOODY LAKE TAUPO BOAT TOUR + WOODY EVENT DETAILS
One of WW’s most local supporters is Bay of Islands woody, Dean Wright – today Dean takes us on a recent mooch around Lake Taupo’s shoreline, click photos to enlarge –  Enjoy 🙂
WAIROA RIVER – WOODY OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Back in November 2019 we had an amazing woody weekend at the Clevedon Cruising Club. At the time everyone expressed a desire to repeat the trip up the Wairoa River asap, then CV-19 popped up, so we pulled the hand-brake.
Well folks the cruise is back on and for now there are two things to do:
1. Circle August 8-9 in the diary
The CCC is a brilliant venue, with dock-side berthing, undercover BBQ / dining facilities and a great group of members that make the trip so special.
And its dog friendly ! – so fido gets to come along.
Woody Classics Weekend Clevedon #2 copy